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New tools bring top companies to classroom

PULLMAN – Similar to universities around the country, the College of Business is adopting new learning tools to bring Fortune-500 expertise to WSU students.
 
Jean Johnson, the Gardner O. Hart professor of marketing, has teamed with the Center for Distance and Professional Education to produce and tape interviews with Boeing executives that supplement her lectures in the executive MBA program.
 
“These interviews are a tremendous opportunity to bring a Fortune-500 firm into the classroom,” Johnson said.
 
Jeff Robinson, brand marketing director for Boeing Commercial Airlines, and Blake Emery, Boeing brand differentiation strategist, participated in the taped interviews.
 
Robinson is an alumnus and works with the WSU Marketing Board.
 
 “Boeing is such a powerful voice and representation for our program,” Johnson said.“These interviews provide excitement while conveying important ideas to students.”
 
The more the curriculum is brought to life, the more students respond, she said.
 
“Many prestigious universities around the country bring in large companies to speak in their classrooms; it’s exciting because now we are doing this too,” she said.
 
Prior to the interview, Johnson sent Robinson talking points she wanted him to cover. Johnson then traveled to the Customer Experience Center in Renton, Wash., and taped the interview in one sitting, with the help of Brian Maki from CDPE.
 
The interview lasted about four hours, Johnson said. It was screened for online lectures, while other parts were clipped and used in conjunction with class PowerPoint presentations.
 
Johnson has other companies she would like to interview, she said. For example, when her marketing classes cover the business-to-business curriculum, she has a contact at Hewlett-Packard she would like to incorporate. However, funding will determine how much interviewing she can do.
 
 “There is so much to be learned from these interviews, especially for graduate students,” Johnson said.
 
Photo above: Jean Johnson (left) talking with Jeff Robinson at the Customer Experience Center in Renton, Wash.

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